Teriyaki has a little place in the corner of my soul. When I was a backpacker I descended upon Melbourne only as a pit stop in the adventure of a global trip. Fourteen years later and I am still in Melbourne, and in part I blame teriyaki.
I arrived in St Kilda, Melbourne in the March of 2000 to attend my first ever Grand Prix. Four days of testosterone for viewers and participants alike. It was during these four days, but not at the Grand Prix itself, that I set my eyes upon a young Australian lass, and those looks were reciprocated. But it wasn’t to be anything more than that because I had my sights set on continuing my global travels. We did decide to meet up, and I remember meeting her off the tram and then heading for a cheap eat – I was a backpacker after all. And that is when for the first time in my life I discovered teriyaki chicken. I was swept away in the euphoria of attraction both for that young lass and the sweet and salty glaze on that chicken. As hours turned in to days, and days into weeks the bond became unbreakable, which is why today I sit here writing this little story with that same young Australian lass across the dinner table, and teriyaki looking longingly in to my eyes.
This recipe is for belly pork, but the sauce also goes wonderfully with chicken, of course!
Serves: 4 | Preparation: 25 minutes | Cooking: 2 hours
For the Pork Belly:
1kg Pork belly deboned | A butcher can do this if you’re not game.
~2 litres Water | This amount will vary depending on pan size.
1½ tsp. Sea salt |
1 Cinnamon stick |
1 Star anise pod |
6 Black peppercorns | Whole.
2 Cloves Garlic | Halved.
1 Brown onion | Roughly chopped.
For the Teriyaki Sauce:
1 Stalk Lemongrass | White part only.
15g Fresh root ginger | No need to peel it – just make sure it is clean.
200ml Chicken stock | See here for a great chicken stock recipe.
200ml Light soy sauce |
300g Castor sugar | It seems a lot but teriyaki is sweet by nature.
200g Runny honey |
Firstly, put the pork belly in to a large pan so that it lays flat. Add the water so that the pork is well covered (more than 2 litres of water if required). Now add the salt, cinnamon, star anise, black peppercorns, halved garlic cloves and chopped onion. Bring the water to a simmer and then cook the pork, covered, for 1½ hours, topping up with hot water if required. Gently, remove the pork from the water and allow it to cool on a chopping board. Preheat an oven to 180 deg. C (350 deg. F).
Now make the teriyaki sauce. Bash the ginger and lemongrass stalk with the end of a rolling pin or some other blunt instrument (preferably not the head). To a medium saucepan add the chicken stock, soy sauce, sugar, honey, ginger and lemongrass. Heat over a medium heat and bring to the boil whilst stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to boil for 15 minutes and then strain the sauce through a fine meshed sieve. The teriyaki sauce is ready.
Now the pork has cooled, cut it in to 2cm strips and place it in single layer in a roasting tin. Pour over the teriyaki sauce ensuring that all the pork belly is coated. Roast the pork in the oven for 30 minutes, frequently basting it with the teriyaki and roasting juices.
Serve the pork with spoonfuls of the sauce. Here I served it with greens cooked in soy sauce, and sticky rice.